They are open for lunch but the building is unassuming unless you pass it at night. After dark, the Crazy Samurai in Hot Springs, Arkansas glows in purple, pink, and orange neon. Inside is some of the best sushi this side of Japan.Sushi Crazy in Arkansas |

Once through the doors, the friendly staff welcomes us as quiet music plays in the background. Would we like sushi or hibachi? The tink of steel spatulas on the grill and the smell of the chicken, steak, or seafood sizzling beckons us forward.  But maybe tonight is more exotic, or just something lighter.  Sushi, then.  Seated at the bar gives a glorious view of the delicacies that await, while the tables and booths are equally inviting. Emoji pillows soften the seats for tables, adding a note of whimsy.

While perusing the menu, the waiter brings drinks and a complimentary bowl of miso soup.  Enjoy the warm broth with tofu and scallions while we decide which of the rolls, nigiri, or sashimi to savor. Options range from traditional, like the unagi, to unique creations, like the Central Ave. Roll, named after the town’s main street. Not sure what to try? Ask for suggestions, even the owner, Patrick, will be more than happy to help. Whatever we choose is sure to delight. Each one delivered is artfully displayed, with a side of wasabi and pickled ginger.

New to sushi and unsure how to eat it? There’s a handy etiquette guide on the back of the menu. And if chopsticks aren’t your thing, there’s a fork in the napkin roll.  That fork comes in handy for dessert.  Try to save room!  The cheesecake at the Crazy Samurai is equally amazing.  The thick slice topped with berries, shaved almonds, and a ruffle of whipped cream is perfect for sharing.

Everything here happens with an eye toward the total experience.  The staff is attentive, eager, and helpful.  The atmosphere is quiet and relaxing, and the food is not only delicious but beautiful.  So when your group tour takes you to Hot Springs, Arkansas, stop by the Crazy Samurai and experience it for yourself